‘Man for Himself’ Quotes by Eric Fromm

January 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

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“There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as ‘moral indignation,’ which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.”

“There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers.”
“One is not loved accidentally; one’s own power to love produces love – just as being interested makes one interesting. People are concerned with the question of whether they are attractive while they forget that the essence of attractiveness is their own capacity to love. To love a person productively implies to care and to feel responsible for his life, not only for his physical existence but for the growth and development of all his human powers. To love productively is incompatible with being passive, with being an onlooker at the loved person’s life; it implies labor and care and the responsibility for his growth.”
“If faith cannot be reconciled with rational thinking, it has to be eliminated as an anachronistic remnant of earlier stages of culture and replaced by science dealing with facts and theories which are intelligible and can be validated.”
“…Today the lack of faith is an expression of profound confusion and despair. Once skepticism and rationalism were progressive forces for the development of thought; now they have become rationalizations for relativism and uncertainty.”
“The source of irrational authority, on the other hand, is always power over people. This power can be physical or mental, it can be realistic or only relative in terms of the anxiety and helplessness of the person submitting to this authority. Power on the one side, fear on the other, are always the buttresses on which irrational authority is built. Criticism of the authority is not only required but forbidden. Rational authority is based upon the equality of both authority and subject, which differ only with respect to the degree of knowledge of skill in a praticular field. Irrational authority is by its very nature based on inequality, implying difference in value.”
“The task of the moral philosopher-thinker is to support and strengthen the voice of human conscience, to recognize what is good or what is bad for people, whether they are good or bad for society in a period of evolution. May be a “voice crying in the wilderness”, but only if that voice remains lively and uncompromising, it is possible to transform the desert into fertile land.”
“The failure of modern culture lies not in its principle of individualism, not in the idea that moral virtue is the same as the pursuit of self-interest, but in the deterioration of the meaning of self-interest; not in the fact that people are too much concerned with their self-interest, but that they are not concerned enough with the interest of their real self; not in the fact that they are too selfish, but that they do not love themselves.”
Source: goodreads
Eric Fromm: Man for Himself on Ivy:
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